Ah, September 11 is here once again, and we can all reflect on the tragic day when our country went completely nuts. Besides being used to justify some completely despicable stuff (like Rudy Giuliani’s private speaking career), 9/11 was a boon to some country music stars (and even some non-country musicians), who have historically been the most patriotic of American pop stars. So here they are folks, my favorite blindly patriotic songs about America:
05. Merle Haggard — “The Fightin’ Side of Me”
The Hag pretty much wrote the book on patriotic country songs with “The Fightin’ Side of Me” and its predecessor, “Okie From Muskogee.”
I read about some squirrely guy,
Who claims, he just don’t believe in fightin’.
An’ I wonder just how long,
The rest of us can count on bein’ free.
They love our milk an’ honey,
But they preach about some other way of livin’.
When they’re runnin’ down my country, hoss,
They’re walkin’ on the fightin’ side of me.
You said it, hoss.
04. Trey Parker & Matt Shaiman — “America: Fuck Yeah! (Bummer Remix)” and “Freedom Isn’t Free”
I found Team America to be surprisingly hilarious despite the overtly political subject matter and the fact that Trey Parker and Matt Stone can get pretty intolerable when they deal with overtly political subject matter. The best part of the film was definitely the music. I couldn’t choose between these two songs, so they’re splitting the vote– “Freedom Isn’t Free” perfectly skewers the rousing, post-9/11 country song while “America: Fuck Yeah! (Bummer Remix)” takes the movie’s bluntest song and makes it even funnier.
03. Darryl Worley — “Have You Forgotten”
My friends and I got obsessed with this song right after it came out, probably because its stupid, kneejerk, intellectually disingenuous argument (that people who questioned our country’s reaction to 9/11 have somehow “forgotten” about the attacks) is so hilariously performed by Darryl Worley. South Park did a great parody of “Have You Forgotten” on their 100th episode, “I’m A Little Bit Country,” when the hillbilly character Skeeter sings his own pro-war country song:
Did you forget them towers in New York?
Did you forget how it made you feel
To see them towers come down?
Were you like me? Did you think it weren’t real?
02. Toby Keith — “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue”
This is definitely the best of the patriotic post-9/11 songs. It’s propelled by a generically rockin’ country arrangement and Toby Keith’s insanely jingoistic lyrics that describe just what the United States intends to do with the terrorists responsible for 9/11: Shove a boot in their ass and blow them up. According to Keith, shoving a boot up their ass is, in fact, “the American Way.” He is of course referring the “Great Ass Boot Shoving” that took place at the Second Continental Congress in 1776 in Philadelphia, in which New Hampshire delegate Elias Boudinot angrily shoved his boot up Alexander Hamilton’s ass in an argument over the forceful quartering of soldiers.
Interestingly enough, I’m actually totally obsessed with Toby Keith’s recent single, “As Good As I Once Was.” I think it’s actually really good, and the video is, well, God, just watch it …
01. Lee Greenwood — “God Bless the USA”
Didn’t see this one comin’, did ya? Yes, of course, the all-time great, overblown, fireworks and flag-waving patriotism song is no doubt Lee Greenwood’s manipulative sapfest “God Bless the USA,” the song so good that Greenwood released it three times–once in 1984, once during the Gulf War of 1990-1991 and once after 9/11 …
From the lakes of Minnesota,
to the hills of Tennessee.
Across the plains of Texas,
From sea to shining sea.
From Detroit down to Houston,
and New York to L.A.
Well there’s pride in every American heart,
and its time we stand and say.
That I’m proud to be an American.
Hey! I live somewhere in between those areas he just described! He’s a-talkin’ about me! Awesome! I am proud to be an American!!!
And though it’s not exactly a blindly patriotic song, I just wanted to include this last one as an Honorable Mention. Ladies and gentleman, Hulk Hogan’s WCW theme song– “American Made”: